This new biography is more like a history lesson of Lovespirals! Might need to be cut down a bit for public consumption….
After nearly a decade of artistic collaboration between singer/songwriter, Anji Bee, and multi-instrumentalist/producer, Ryan Lum, it seems almost a moot point that Lovespirals evolved out of Projekt act, Love Spirals Downwards. Yet Lum’s former band incarnation remains popular within dream pop circles; popular enough that his first 2 early 90’s albums are currently being reissued. And Love Spirals Downwards have long held the reputation as Projekt’s best selling act. So though Lovespirals have been around as long as LSD, the two projects are still inextricably linked in many minds.
Lovespirals have made plenty of fans of their own over the years. Their earliest work was tied to the late 90’s California drum ‘n’ bass and downtempo scene they each DJ’d in; Lum as a club DJ and Bee as a college radio jockey. The duo’s fledgling jazzstep white labels became the first tracks Lum promoted in the burgeoning mp3 format – predating even the invention of iPods or iTunes. Appearances on various artist comps at the turn of the millennium, such as Chill Out Lounge Vol. 2, brought Lovespirals to the attention of chillout music listeners worldwide.
Perhaps confounding their newfound fanbase, Lovespirals sidestepped into a moody blend of jazz, blues, world, and folk styles for their 2002 Projekt debut, Windblown Kiss. Hailed as a “post shoegazer masterpiece,” and the “herald of gothic jazz,” Lum’s uniquely dreamy musical blend of genres and Bee’s sensually romantic vocals surprised and delighted listeners with its fresh approach to the dream pop sound. Bee’s mix of ethereal and jazzy harmonies endeared her to Lum’s longtime fans, who happily crowned her with the title of “sultry chanteuse.”
Merging their two musical sides, in 2005 Lovespirals followed up with a collection of jazzy yet rock-infused chillout music — aptly named Free & Easy — on their own label, Chillcuts. The band resumed their interest in dance music, producing several deep house and downtempo numbers that have been licensed fairly extensively on TV and cable such as MTV, VH1, E!, and many others, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. Overall, Lum explored more funky musical territory, replete with Rhodes piano, wah-wah guitar, and extended electric guitar solos, while Bee dug deep to discover a soulful vocal sound verging at times on rhythm and blues.
As part of the promotions for Free & Easy, the band founded a podcast called Chillin’ with Lovespirals. This brought not only the band, but Bee specifically, to the attention of Adam Curry, through his newly launched Podsafe Music Network. In late 2005, Curry signed Bee to his brand new media company, PodShow, calling her “the sexiest voice in podcasting.” The resultant show, The Chillcast with Anji Bee, has gone on to become a popular staple of the podsafe music podcast world, with listenership increasing by the thousands monthly. The Chillcast also enjoyed a stint on Sirius Satellite Radio. Bee is also a co-host of an all-female PodShow podcaster collabocast called, ShowGirls, which recently won a People’s Choice Podcast Award.
Picking back up in 2007 with the more 70’s-inspired sounds of Free & Easy, Lovespirals have truly hit their stride on their third album, Long Way From Home. Melding the dreamy folk and rock of Windblown Kiss, with the soulful jazz and blues of Free & Easy, the duo seamlessly blend prior influences with new sounds and styles. Bee confidently spins seductive tales of beautiful sadness and spiritual longing set to Lum’s masterfully melancholic music. Bluesy electric guitar abounds, with touches of wistful slide guitar, tinkling piano, and haunting harmonica to evoke a lush, organic, Americana feel. Renowned music podcaster, C.C. Chapman, has said this is Lovespirals best work to date, and the band agree. In fact, Lum believes this is his finest work, bar none.